Sony’s new slime monster epic Venom arrives in theaters this Friday, which means its stars are currently out doing the promotional rounds, trying to drum up business, and hopefully avoid saying or doing anything that might hurt the movie’s chances. Like, say, telling an interviewer that all of their favorite parts of the film have been chopped out and left on the cutting room floor, as star Tom Hardy did during an interview this week.
Hardy was talking to YouTube channel ComicsExplained about the movie when he was asked about his favorite scenes, and bluntly noted that all the stuff he liked best—which included 30 to 40 minutes of “mad puppeteering” and “dark comedy”—have all been cut out. Sensing danger, co-star Riz Ahmed attempted to salvage the situation with a joke, but Hardy seemed determined to make his point: All of the coolest bits of Venom, in his mind, are no longer in the film.
Now, obviously we have no real idea what “mad puppeteering” actually means in this context—was Hardy referring to animatronic effects, or, like, party tricks Eddie Brock pulls off with his tentacles?—but it’s not hard to imagine a tonal fight playing out behind the movie’s scenes. The comic book Venom is an aggressively violent character, after all, so it’s easy to picture a lot of different directions cropping up as director Ruben Fleischer worked with his team to sand off those rougher edges. (It’s also not hard to imagine Hardy, who has a taste for emotional extremes, expressing his unhappiness with certain moves away from heavier, weirder stuff.) Anyway, Venom is out this Friday, with the Hardy-approved “Good Puppet Stuff” edition presumably coming out on Blu-ray a few months later.